FTWD, Ep. 206, “Sicut Cervus” cautions us to be careful what we wish for and reinforces a theme long established by The Walking Dead– there’s no safe haven for survivors.
The title alludes to a Catholic song of the same name. The verse Sicut cervus desiderat ad fontes aquarum,ita desiderat anima mea ad te, Deus translates to “As the deer longs for running water, so longs my soul for you, O God” (Pope). The survivors have longed for a haven. There is, however, a danger in the longing- and that danger’s name is Celia.
Celia, much like The Walking Dead’s late Hershel Greene, warehouses the undead. To her, they are still family. She tells Nick the undead are “what comes next” and she tells Daniel that he needs to make peace with his dead. She may not be all wrong when it comes to Daniel. Ghosts of his past are becoming a detriment to his safety. A flashback nearly cost him his life this episode. Luckily, Ofelia rose to the occasion and saved his life.
Celia’s acceptance of death explains how she brutally murdered a church full of parishioners with poisoned Eucharistic hosts. Her weapon of choice is especially ironic as the host is meant to fill the parishioners with life, hope, and grace. Her behavior is reminiscent of another Walking Dead character who also ran a community and couldn’t break his familial bonds- The Governor.
Strand’s partner and Celia’s son, Thomas, becomes infected when he visits the parish, post-poisoning. It’s ironic that Celia’s own son is infected- a form of poisoning. When he first meets Madison, Thomas, the new hope, apologizes for not being a better host. Thomas’s use of the word “host” is also a word for the Eucharist. Strand’s longing for Thomas, the poisoned host, will figuratively infect Strand, Madison, and the rest of her group. Will Celia be strong enough to take down Madison?
Strand consistently describes Madison as fierce and Thomas, the Christ-figure, asks her to take care of Strand after his death. She exudes strength and quickly emerges as the mother of the apocalypse. This likely foreshadows Celia’s downfall. But will Madison lose Nick, who is already drinking the Kool-Aid?
Celia feeds Nick, both literally and figuratively. Nick, tired of the killing, seeks Celia’s counsel. Her comfort drives a wedge between Nick and Madison. He longs to ease his conscience after killing a child-zombie and is, after all, in the habit of consuming poison, i.e narcotics, to ease the pain. Celia’s advice is just as toxic and lethal. Is Celia deliberately trying to disband Madison’s group? Does she already see how useful Nick will be in the new world?
In another shocking turn of events, Strand, who was set to commit suicide with his already dying partner, gives Thomas mercy. Instead of ingesting Celia’s poisoned Eucharistic hosts, Strand shoots Thomas in the head. Did he change his mind because Celia expressed respect for Strand’s original suicide plan? Did her praise highlight how wrong his suicide would be?
A showdown between Celia’s community and Madison’s group is inevitable. Tension is already high.Will the fracturing group be able to band together again? Which member of Madison’s group is most vulnerable?
Chris seems hell bent on killing Madison and Alycia; Nick and Madison are struggling over Nick’s new drug of choice, Celia; Daniel is having flashbacks; Celia knows Daniel found the cellar filled with dead. What’s more, Celia already disliked Strand and Thomas is no longer there to buffer him against her wrath. Will a grief-stricken Strand be any use against the formidable foe, Celia?
The survivors already had to surrender their weapons to stay in Celia’s refuge. Daniel challenged the uniformed nurse, but Ofelia urged him to comply. If The Walking Dead taught us anything, it is not to trust people in uniform. Just ask Beth…oh wait… we can’t- thank’s to the uniformed policewoman who killed her. How will the group defend itself against Celia and her community? Will Nick’s bond with Celia come in handy?
You can share your predictions, insight, and questions in the comment section below. What did you think of tonight’s episode of Fear the Walking Dead?